Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 28 Bonao Dominican Republic



It's Halloween and I'm sitting here in a computer center listening to Christmas music and writing you all. Hahha

Lunes we had family home evening with Esther and Luciano and their kids Anderson, Anthony, and David. We talked about "The Family: A Proclamation to the world" We taught them the importance of the family and the things that they need to do to have a happy family. We then talked about their wedding date and their baptism date. They are getting married November 12th and baptized the following week on the 19th! I'm super excited and so are they. 

We then visited Hector and his nephew and they gave us ice-cream. Hector said "I didn't know what kind of ice-cream you guys liked so I just got all of the flavors, and then he came out with a BUCKET of ice-cream. I laughed so hard. 

Martes we went to Elder and Hermana Decker's house for our district meeting and then they fed us lunch. Elder Decker made some kind of soup (his own creation) The soup was made out of rice, noodles, couscous, potatoes, yucca, platoons, eggs, cilantro, carrots and all kinds of other stuff. And it was actually really good!

We also taught and invited Danelbis to be baptized. He said he knows the church is true and is getting baptized the 19th of November too!

We also talked with Christina and her husband and talked about their wedding and the importance of marriage. They are still working on planning a date but want to have it soon because Christina wants to be baptized sooo bad.

Miercoles we had 2 lessons fall through so we went to see Karina. She wasn't home but her mom was and so we talked with her and invited her to take the lessons with Karina and she said yes! She wants to change and knows that the gospel will help her and her daughter.

Then we went to work in the Elders area. Jonathan and Raquel, two recent converts helped us with  the lessons and directed us to the houses of the Elder's investigators.  It was fun to meet all of them. I'm excited to work with them too.  

Jueves we had a ward activity with games and fun. It was fun to get to know the members and the investigators more and just play with them. We all took pictures and I got a little too close to a members motorcycle and burnt my leg :0 Later that night another little kid burnt his leg on the same motorcycle! Hahah twice in one day. But now the kid and I have matching battle scars!

We also taught Christina and her family again. I asked her husband to say the prayer and he said yes and then prayed...After Christina was sooo happy and was almost in tears because her husband was progressing. ahha it was so cute to see her excitement for the gospel.

Viernes we taught a deaf person. It is really hard but he can read lips and just repeats everything that he understands. He says that he can feel the spirit and knows that our message is true. He will continue to learn and understand every lesson and every time he reads! Wow he amazes me.

Friday was also the second time I witnessed a motorcycle accident. The first time a man died, but it wasn't so bad this time. It just scarred me. 

Sabado we read the Book of Mormon with a lot of our investigators. I love reading with them and helping them gain that testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

As we were walking to a investigators home we saw a motorcycle run over a chicken and die. The owner of the chicken just picked it up and took it inside to eat! I love the DR

Over all my week was awesome! I love being a missionary and helping so many people! I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!
My District
DR Missionaries from Oregon, Elder Rasmunson from Portland and Elder Loni from Sherwood.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week 27, Bonao Dominican Republic

Hermana Yanes

Hermana Sanchez


Hola a todos,

Well this week I had my 6 month birthday in the mission. 1 more year left! It feels super weird to only have a year left, but that just means I have to work extra hard and get everything done that I need to!

Martes we had district meeting with Bonao 2 and Maimon. Including the zone leaders who are in Bonao 2, we have 8 people in our district! They are all super awesome. We talked about goals and ways we can better invited people to do things that will help bless their lives.

We also had intercombios that day. I went to LaVega with Hermana Yanes. It is so cool that you really can learned so much from every companion. We also talked a lot about how we all have challenging people in our lives and how we can't change them. All we can do it love them, serve them and learn from them, and learn ways that we can deal with them and help them. Patience is a gift but everyone can learn patience. We can also all pray to gain patience and Christ like love.

Miercoles was a day of service. In the morning we went to teach the son of a less active who wants to be baptized. He wasn't home but we noticed that the house was a little messy, her baby was crying, and she looked a little stressed so we cleaned her house all morning. We didn't teach much that morning, but sometimes the best way to teach people is by service and love. Later that day we had a lot of lessons that fell through, so we went to visit one of the Elder's old investigators who has a baptism date. We found her in tears. We talked with her, bore our testimonies, and let her know that we are here for her. People just need to be loved and know that people care about them. Heavenly Father is always here to help us, but also we are asked to follow Christ's example and help Gods children. I realized that I am here on my mission to teach, but to also be an example of Christ and help everyone I can in every form.

We also taught Esther y Luciano. I love teaching them and they have really became more family to me. We taught them the plan of salvation and Luciano was so excited and asked if he could take a picture of our ¨map¨ of the plan of Salvation. It is really comforting to know that we have a purpose and a plan here on earth and that we can live with God, Christ and our families again!  

Jueves was my 6 month birthday. I eat some chocolate to celebrate, but that was it haha. Hermana Butterfield got called to go to Santo Domingo for her visa so Hermana Rubio came to Bonao and helped me with our investigators here. She was super cute and is a great missionary. I learned a lot from her and we had a great time. The only thing really eventful that day was that I walked into a wall and got a big goose egg on my head.. not proud of that. I was walking with Hermana Rubio and I thought I stepped in poop and so I turned around to look at my shoe. When I turned back around there was a wall in my face. Yeah...Moral of the story...don't do hurts...haha It was more funny than anything and I'm all fine and good now. 

Viernes Hermana Butterfield came home and we went to work like normal. 

Sabado morning we sang to a woman and her husband who are really old and sick and can't go to church. We visit them a lot and every time the husband asks me for my name, every time I say ¨Hermana Bake¨ to which he responds, ¨nice to meet you blakE¨ 

We also taught Danelbis with 2 members, Sammy and Patricia. I learned that its not always easy to accept the story of Joseph Smith. It is weird to people the first time they hear it. We need to be ready and willing to help them understand the importance of the restoration and the priesthood (power and authority of God). I also learned that going to church is soooo important. It helps of people to feel the spirit and know of the truthfulness of our message. 

We also visited Esther y Luciano with another member couple who was just married and the husband was baptized. They talked about the importance of the word of wisdom and also marriage which was PERFECT for Esther and Luciano. They are preparing for marriage and baptism and are super excited and ready. Esther asked if I was going to visit the DR after my mission a lot and I said that I want to! She then asked if I would be her new babies Godmother. It's crazy how much love and trust our investigators have for us. 

Domingo we had 20 investigators and 6 future investigators at church. 

At church, in Sunday school, a member made a comment about missionaries keeping in contact with him after they left the area. Esther looked at me and said ¨Yeah Hermana, Did you hear that? You have to visit and keep in touch¨ Ahaha  

After church we taught Karina and talked with her about why baptism is important. She wants to be baptized but it's important to know why people are baptized and that baptism isn't the end! We need to continue and endure to the end.

I was also prompted to visit an old contact who we had only taught once. We had a great talk with her about Joseph Smith and helped her with her dudas and preguntas. 

We also passed a house that we pass every day and everyday the guy yells at me and says 

¨America! Marry me! I want a visa!¨ I've tried ignoring him, telling him no, giving him a pamphlet, explaining that we are missionaries, but today I finally gave up and said okay, but kept walking - fast. Maybe he will leave us alone now? Maybe... if not, I don't know! I've tried everything haha

We also visited Rosa Jimenez(less active member) and her neighbor Wilkis (investigator)
We talked about Matthew 6:19-21 with Georgina and her family. This scripture defines real happiness and how money and material things don't last and don't give just lasting happiness. Our families and the gospel give us the real happiness that we can have forever!
19¶Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal : 21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

Today we went to Bonao 2 to celebrate Hermana Sanchez's birthday! For the birthday party we ate cake and played Uno and Soccor ¨football¨. It was fun to get to know our new district.

Scripture of the week: Alma 15:16 give all for the gospel because its true! "And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred" People often say, ¨1.5 years! That's a lot!¨ Really its not hard. It's such little time for something that I know is true. I want everyone to have this truth and happiness and the knowledge that I might have helped people to find this happiness is so much more rewarding than giving up 1.5 years of my life. I love this church and I know its true with all my heart. I hope you all have a great week and remember to pray and read the scriptures! Continue to learn and talk to our Heavenly Father. 

Con mucho Amor,

Hermana Bake

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 26, Bonao Dominican Republic

Hola familia y todos!

Chocolate Cake!

Lunes was a great day. It rained a lot, but we still worked hard. We bought chocolate cake for Pday and decided to eat it in our beds, because why not? I was super happy about my chocolate cake.

We taught a new investigator and her husband and then we taught their a neighbor. It was late when we left and a random man we passed said that it was late, we need to be careful, and that if we ever needed a bodyguard that he would be our bodyguard. haha We then ran to Leonida's house to excape the rain. We taught her and she fed us. It continued to down pour, but it was getting later and later so we decided to make a run for it in the rain. It was kinda a fun run and reminded me of cross country and track in Oregon. On the way home every person we passed yelled, ¨no se mojen!¨ which means,  ¨dont get wet¨ haha it was just funny that all 9 people we passed yelled the same thing. 

Martes we had our zone meeting. I learned a lot about goals and helping people reach their goals. 
while at the meeting we noticed that our Elders weren't there. We found out from our zone leaders that the Elders were in Santiago.That leaves all of Bonao 1 to us! We are a little stressed but ready to take on this challenge and work hard.

Miercoles we taught Christina and her family and they accepted our invitation to be baptized! They are super excited and ready. 

Jueves, Patricia helped us with an interesting lesson. The man had some interesting misconceptions about the church. I finally explained that the gospel is like a chocolate cake. I have tasted the chocolate cake, and I know that it is good, but you don't know that because you have never tasted it. I've read the Book of Mormon and I've gone to church and prayed to know if the church is true. I know its true, but you won't ever know unless you are ready, go to church, study and pray about it on your own.  

Heavenly Father is always here and is willing to help us if we do our part. Ask and it shall be given you, knock and ye shall find.

Viernes a lesson fell through so we decided to visit one of the Elders investigators who was the grandson of Hermana DeLeon. He wasn't their either so we shared a message with her. She is super funny and knows English pretty well and likes to practice with us. I told her that the word crazy in English can mean awesome. I then said, ¨Hermana you are crazy¨ Her eyes got really big and in English she said, "Is it because of my hair or my dress? Why am I crazy¨ hahaha we all laughed so hard. I love it when people try to speak English.

Sabado we had the help of Hermana Decker who is here in Bonao serving with her husband. We taught Esther and Luciano. They are a couple who we are working to get married and then baptized. Luciano got a call from his friend during the lesson who was trying to get him to do something Sunday in the morning. He then put it on speaker and explained that he was going to church in the morning! Hhahah Yes Luciano! You tell him!

Domingo was the best day ever! We had 6 less actives at church, 23 investigators and 97 people total at church. The first Sunday after arriving in Bonao there were 15 people at church! I was so happy, and it just proves that obedience and hard works pays off. We are working hard and have a ton of investigators who are progressing and ready to make this important change in their lives. I'm glad that I have the chance to help them and see them make this change in their lives. 

Sorry if this letter makes no sense! I didn't have much time this week to write but just know that I love the gospel and I know it's true with all my heart! Have  great week! I love you all!

Hermana Bake

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 25, Bonao Dominican Republic


I'm grateful for your updates and emails! I love hearing from all of you and about your lives! I'm grateful for all of your emails. Its so nice to have so much support and love from home. I love you all and am so grateful to have friends and family like you guys! Thanks

Well everyone is freaking out about the hurricane. It was awful and I'm heart broken to hear about all the loses. I was super blessed. The DR didn't get hit that bad except for a lot of rain and wind. Bonao is in a valley which blocked a lot of the storm. We were so blessed to not get hit that bad. I'm worried about all my friends from the CCM (MTC) who are from Haiti and serving in Haiti. But it's important to remember that God has a plan for all of us. 

Shoes! I got new shoes and they are helping my foot a ton! It's still fat and swollen all the time but I can walk! And I'm happy as ever!

Martes we had our last district meeting of the transfer. We met in Bonao 2 and had a good meeting about the attributes of Christ and how we, as missionaries, can improve on these attributes. We all were asked to pick 2 attributes and talk about them. Elder Lagos, Elder Morfin, and I all talked about Patience, Diligence and Humility. I guess we just really needed to learn about those 3 things. But really those 3 things are so important on a mission and in life. We need to have patience with everyone including ourselves. Remember that the Lord has a plan for all of us. We need to have diligence in all our work. We have such a short time in the mission and in life really. We need to work hard and make right choices now..and not later. Humility is also very important. Everything is in the Lord's timing and he knows all. We need to rely on him and remember that because of him we have what we have, and we are able to do what we do. 

At the end of the meeting we met with Bonao 2 and Mimon to find out who was being transferred and who was coming. I was 99% sure that I was being transferred. BUT SURPRISE! No changes in Bonao 1! All 4 of us stayed in Bonao. I was super happy to be able to continue to work with the people here and to stay with my family. I know that God has a plan for me here and that there is some thing I need to do here or someone I need to help. 

Hermana Colque - We both started our missions in Bonao and will both stay here this transfer
We said goodbye to Elder Irish who went home this week as well as Hermana Mateo who has been here in Bonao 2 for 9 months. They are two awesome missionaries and I'm going to miss them a lot. 
Hermana Mateo
Elder Irish

This week we worked hard. We found 20 new investigators and I'm super excited to help them progress. I've been praying for new people and felt super blessed with more people to help come closer to Christ.

Miercoles were transfers. It was a pretty relaxing morning not having to worry about anything. Hermana Colque came to our house and helped us with lessons while she waited for her new companion. 

Jueves we decided to redo our wall of investigators and less actives. We organized them by area and by progression. I'm super excited to help our investigators to progress and come closer to Christ. 
We were stopped in the street the other day by Wilkys Destime (a Haitian young adult). He asked us about the church and said that he wanted to go to church and be baptized. Wow, we were super excited. We taught him Jueves but his Spanish isn't that great, and so we have to teach him pretty slow. As we were talking to him, his neighbor walked out of her house and asked us if we were Mormons. We said yes and then found out that she is an inactive member! Rosa, is super awesome and wants us to come teach her. She wants to go to church, but she studies at the university on Sunday mornings. :( 

We then visited Hector. He always comments on my clothes and how he like my modest cute clothes. Today he informed me that my dress was a little different...haha I was wearing my grandma dress that I love so much. I told him that it was my grandma dress and he though that was funny. Then he went on to ask me about how many grandchildren I want. Hector is super funny and makes my laugh. 

Viernes we went to visit a member named Ceserina. She had been in the hospital the day before and she didn't have that much energy and spirit. We cleaned her house, made lunch, ate and talked with her. She is so cute and just needs love and help. These people here do not have easy lives and just need love and service. 

Later that day we taught Yailin and Jeuri and on the way back we both just kind of stopped in the middle of the road and turned around. We both had a feeling to scratch our next appointment and go talk with Esther. During our weekly planning we were talking about dropping her as an investigator, but now we both had the impression to turn around and go talk to her. It turns out she had been reading and STUDYING the pamphlets and reading the Book of Mormon. She had questions about the law of chastity because she lives with the father of her baby. We were able to talk with and teach both her and her boyfriend. Esther said she wants to be baptized and they both said that they are willing to get married before her baptism. 

Later that night we taught Hector again and shared the Restoration video with him and his daughter and granddaughter. We talked about faith and prayer. It was good for them to all share their testimonies and I think his daughter's heart was softened a little. Hopefully she will be okay with the baptism of Hector soon, but I'll keep you all updated on that. She still comes to church and baptisms and activities and is practically a member so .....

Sabado we had the opportunity to go to Jonathan's baptism. Elder Paulino got to come so I was happy to see him again! It was awesome to see Jonathan make that step in his life and be so happy.

We also visited an old investigator, Yahilyn. She had been taught by the Elders a year ago and comes to church, but can't be baptized because she doesn't have the permission of her mom. We shared the story of Esther in the Bible and how she had courage and faith in the Lord. She also prayed and fasted and was blessed with the courage and help of the Lord. We talked to her about talking to her mom again and baring her testimony to her. Its not easy but if she has the desire to be baptized and has faith in God, he will help her to talk to her mom and soften her heart.

Domingo we had a ton of investigators come to church! I was soooo happy. We talked to Marino and Yineuri as well as Luciano and Esther about marriage and their baptisms. It looks like we are going to have 2 weddings and 4 baptisms really soon! 

We also talked with Rosa and Wilkys again and also started teaching their other neighbor. I'm not sure of his name but I call him wifi.  I learned this week to just talk to everyone. Not everyone is ready the hear the gospel but that's up to the Lord and them. We just need to talk and invite everyone! Everyone is a child of God and He loves them all and wants them all the return to him.

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Stay safe and say your prayers!

Hermana Bake
A rose that some random guy handed me on the street. I love Dominicans

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

Image result for hurricane matthew in the dominican republic images

Hola a todos,

So we got a call this morning saying that we need to email our parents to tell them that we are alive and safe. Missionaries are pretty sheltered and don't know much. I don't know what really happened yesterday but apparently there was a hurricane here in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti. Well in Bonao we were safe and didn't really experience much except for cool weather and lots of wind. But my heart goes out to those who lost there lives, are hurt, or those who are displaced from their homes. I'm glad to know about the plan of salvation and to know that they can live with God again.  

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Talk to you guys on Monday!

Hermana Bake

A neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is flooded.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Image result for hurricane matthew in the dominican republic images

Image result for hurricane matthew in the dominican republic images

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 24, Bonao, Dominican Republic

Family and Friends!

Last Tuesday we got a call from the assistant to President Castillo saying that I need to go to the capital to deal my visa documentation. They said I was to leave after lunch that day, and I would be spending the night in Santiago that night. I was a little stressed out and sad because I wanted to work and teach people in Bonao. So after our District meeting we headed home to pack. Then we headed to the gwagwa station. Elder Morfin and I went to Santiago and our companions stayed in Bonao on exchanges. It was super weird to not have a companion that was female. When we got to Santiago we were crammed into the assistants truck. There I met Julie Bennett Bake's brother who is serving in this mission and we were all taken to the mission office. At the office I got to see friends from the CCM and Hermana Sandoval and missionaries from my zone who had been transferred as well as a ton of other cool missionaries. We were put into companionships and went on splits in Santiago. It was fun to meet other people and teach people in Santiago. We then spent the night in the Santiago sister's apartments.

On Wednesday morning the office elders picked us up and we all headed to Santo Domingo. We spent 8 hours in the immigration office but we met a lot of cool people and had a great time.

Thursday we helped with Jonathan and Raquel's wedding reception. It was so sweet to see them so happy and excited to start their new life together and fulfill this commandment. 

Saturday we had the chance to watch conference from 12 to 2 and 4 to 6. It was a weird time and hard because people were eating lunch. But we had a fun little group who watched it with us at the church. It was fun listening to it in Spanish but also really different. It rained really hard the whole day and so we decided to play a game in between sessions - who can stand outside in the rain the longest. Yeah lets just say Elder Lagos and I tied, but the second session of conference was not that comfortable.

Sunday was awesome. We had a lot of our investigators show up to watch conference and one of them even cried because she felt so happy and felt the spirit so strong! It is just a testimony to me that these leaders are called of God and really receive revelation from God to help us.

For lunch we made sloppy joes with avocado which I was sooo excited for. I miss American food.
After conference we went out and taught people. We met a lady at Leonida's house who was a inactive member of the church. She cried as she explained to us that she wants the happiness that we have and that the church once gave her. She wants to come back, she just doesn't know how. We got to bare testimony to her that she can always come back. Heavenly Father loves her and she can always repent and start new because of Jesus Christ. I love this gospel and I don't know what I would do without the blessings from living this gospel.

Wow..I promise we worked hard this week it was just different. Transfers are this week and I'm pretty sure I'm getting transferred. I'm ready but sad to leave my family here in Bonao

I love you all and hope you have a great safe week! PRAY AND READ your scriptures!

Hermana Bake